Most of us don’t give clean water much thought. Have you ever had to risk your safety to get water, use the toilet, or mourn the death of a loved one who died from diseases and conditions caused by unclean water? Yet, clean water isn’t an issue for most people fortunate enough to live in developed countries. 

The rest of the world isn’t so fortunate. Approximately one out of ten people live without access to clean water. You don’t need to excel at math to know that it accounts for a lot of people. And more than 600,000 children under the age of five perish from diseases caused by polluted water each year, mostly in developing countries. It’s a staggering statistic, but it’s not just a number. These are beloved children whose families had hopes and dreams for them. 

Most of these deaths are preventable. All it takes is clean water. Sure, it sounds insurmountable, but it’s not. In fact, for about $10, the average cost of a case of bottled water in the US, your donation to Thirst International can provide 30 years of clean water to a person in need

World Water Day, which takes place on March 22 each year, shines a spotlight on the importance of clean water. It’s a day filled with tips and suggestions about ways people can help ensure that everyone has access to clean water. It’s a day that reinforces the absolute power each of us has to make a difference. But that power isn’t just available to us for one day. We have the power to make clean water available every day!

Clean water is the foundation of life, the world’s most essential resource. Nothing is sustainable without water. No one can survive more than a week without water. Crops can’t grow, livestock can’t exist, and economies can’t prosper. Lack of clean water contributes to myriad problems, including:

 

Water-Borne Illness

More than two dozen water-borne illnesses affect people without clean water or proper sanitation for their families.

 

Poverty

The lack of clean water and poverty are inextricably linked, and the heaviest burden falls on women. It’s a substantial threat to health and creates a barrier that prevents women and girls from lifting themselves out of poverty. 

 

Safety

Women and girls face an enormous safety risk when they have to walk long distances to collect water. All too often, their trips to fetch water or venturing out to use the latrines make them victims of sexual violence. They are also exposed to attacks from wild animals.

 

Sanitation

Without improved sanitation, people are forced to use inadequate communal latrines or openly defecate, exposing fecal matter that can be transferred to people through food and water, spreading serious diseases, such as cholera. 

 

Thirst Relief International has teamed with partners in Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda to provide clean water so families don’t have to fear dying from water-related diseases or attacks when securing water. These projects use various technologies and methods depending on the locations and specific situations.

 

Brazil

Working with Xingu Mission, our ground partner, we’re providing BioSand Filters, adapted from a more traditional slow sand filter to eliminate the deadly combination of viruses, bacteria, and parasites that infect the country’s water. Each filter’s cost is $100, which can supply clean water for more than 10 people.

 

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo)

Our partnership with Connect Africa Ministries helps us provide BioSand Filters for $100, water well repairs, and rainwater harvesting tanks (using ISSB construction) at a cost of $2,300, and EcoSan Toilet buildings (also using ISSB construction) for $4,000 in DR Congo.

 

India

Working with our land partner, SWAP Trust India, we provide clean water to many people. Costing as little as $1,000, one well can deliver clean water to more than 2000 people.

 

Kenya

Working with our partner Connect Africa Ministries, we provide BioSand Filters for $100, water well repairs, and rainwater harvesting tanks (using ISSB construction) at a cost of $2,300, and EcoSan Toilet buildings (also using ISSB construction) for $4,000 

 

Tanzania

We work with our partner, SON International, to distribute BioSand Filters to Tanzania communities, where much of the population must rely on contaminated rivers as their water source each month. As in Brazil, each filter costs $100 and can provide clean water for more than 10 people. 

 

Uganda

Connect Africa Ministries also helps us provide BioSand Filters for $100, water well repairs, and rainwater harvesting tanks (using ISSB construction) at the cost of $2,300, and EcoSan Toilet buildings (also using ISSB construction) for $4,000 to communities in Uganda.

 

World Water Day is vital to remind those who have access to clean water that we should never take this precious resource for granted. So the next time you turn on the tap or reach for a bottle of water to quench your thirst or enjoy a long, hot shower or bath, or water your garden, be thankful. 

There are so many ways you can help. Whether you make a cash donation, create a fundraising event, or you can participate in an existing fundraiser, or even share the message with friends, family, and associates, your support can save lives! It’s never been so easy to use your power to save lives.